Communications, Email, Internet and Social Media Policy
This Communications, Email, Internet and Social Media Policy defines what the company considers to be acceptable use of its communications facilities, with particular attention paid to email, telephone, internet and social media use. The policy contains the option to either ban personal use of company email and internet facilities entirely or to permit limited and responsible use within the bounds of the policy.
This document has been reviewed and updated for compatibility with the UK GDPR.
The policy states that employees are encouraged to use the company’s communications facilities, including email and the internet, as a fast and reliable method of communication with significant advantages for the business. However, the policy also warns employees of the dangers that the misuse of communications can pose, exposing themselves and the company to legal and commercial risks and criminal offences.
Social media can be a tremendous drain on resources in the workplace with employees losing hours to the irresistible draw of one more post, one more share, one more like. Conversely, however, social media can also be a valuable marketing tool and is increasingly becoming a standard part of many businesses’ marketing mix. The detailed social media provisions in this policy accommodate both positions and can be used to allow limited personal use of social media at work or to ban it entirely, while also addressing work use of social media, providing detailed rules applicable to employees’ representation of their employers on social networking sites.
The policy includes a section on monitoring of email and internet usage. This is particularly important for employers because if employees are not told that monitoring of emails or internet use will occur, then a breach of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 or the Telecommunications Regulations 2000 may occur. Furthermore, while the UK GDPR does not specifically change the position on monitoring, privacy is nevertheless a key concern. Monitoring should be proportionate (less intrusive alternatives should always be considered); employees should be given details about monitoring (training should cover this early on); and impact assessments, designed to ensure that the needs of the employer are balanced with the rights of their staff, may be advisable.
Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.
This Social Media Policy contains the following sections:
2. General Principles
4. Social Media
6. Telephone Use, including mobile phones
9. Misuse and Compliance
This employment policy template is in open format. Either enter the requisite details in the highlighted fields or adjust the wording to suit your purposes.
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